Chad Carr, meat scientist at the University of Florida, is one of the voices of Meat Matters, a new column, in Farm Journal’s PORK. He shares his thoughts on educating students, his interest in food safety, and what readers can expect from his column in 2019.
Q. Tell us about your background.
A. I grew up on a diversified livestock operation including Hampshire hogs and commercial beef cattle in middle Tennessee.
Q. What’s a typical day on the job like for you?
A. My role as state meat Extension specialist includes developing and implementing Extension education to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of muscle foods and to improve the production, utilization, value and sustainability of muscle foods.
Additionally, I develop and administer youth programming in meat-animal agriculture, to develop responsible and productive youth to secure the future of our industry. I teach The Meat We Eat course in the spring and fall semester, Pork Production in the fall semester, and co-instruct Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation and HACCP Systems in the spring semester. I also coordinate both the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Team, the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Team, the Intercollegiate Meat Animal Evaluation Team and mentor graduate students.
The goal of my research program is to produce well-trained graduate students who can go on to be leaders in our industry or academia. I try to take questions directly from industry professionals and apply them in a controlled research setting. Every day my job is different. From cutting meat to playing statistician/researcher and to teaching food safety to working in the swine unit, every day is different.
Q. What can PORK readers expect out of your columns this year?
A. My goal is to help improve their consumer focus and open their mind to the way consumers perceive pork.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. I enjoy the colleagues and students that I work with every day – they make my job more rewarding.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A. If all you do today is drive one nail, drive it as hard and fast as you can.
Q. When you aren’t at work, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
A. I enjoy spending time with my awesome wife and little girls. We are involved in our church and enjoy attending activities at our girls’ schools. We like to travel to see our families and the girls are beginning to become involved with showing pigs and athletics.
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